How Do You Increase Workplace Productivity?

We recently read an article that suggested each person has a different time of day in which they are the most productive; some people love to wake up for an early morning workout, while others to prefer to wake up and enjoy a cup of coffee before beginning their days. Either way, it’s important to allow your employees to work in a way that will benefit them, therefore increasing productivity and personal investment in the work place.

 

Workplace

With a rise in millennials joining the work force, a higher importance is being placed on flexibility within the work place. Employees value the ability to leave early for a personal circumstance, if need be. This applies to working parents who wish to attend their children’s extra-curricular activities, as well as single people who have personal commitments outside of work. This isn’t to say that you should allow your employees to leave early every day, but allowing them the freedom to enjoy their personal life shows that you, as a business owner, place importance on your employees’ happiness.

 

Another interesting idea the article mentions is allowing your employees time to develop creative ideas away from their desk. Sitting at a desk and answering emails for eight hours a day can become robotic; as an employer, you should try to encourage your employees to take a walk at lunch, or to simply get up and stroll around the office every now and then. This will encourage creative thinking and new ideas as your employees experience a change of scenery and give their brains a small break.

 

In our office, we make a point of visiting new restaurants for team lunches, or we eat lunch outside on sunny days. As the insurance industry can become repetitive, we take the time to walk around the office, give our minds a break, and visit our co-workers to share ideas or work through problems together. It is very important to us to maintain a positive work environment with happy employees who feel supported, taken care of, and pleased to come to work each day. What do you do in your office to increase productivity?

 

To read the article referenced, click here 

What do your employees really look for in a benefit plan?

There are many benefits to having an employee health and dental plan, but one of the main assets of a group plan is that it attracts and retains quality employees. 

As a company owner, you need to ask yourself which benefits would be of the most value to your employees. To make things easier for you we found an article that lists prescription drug coverage, dental care, and vision care as the most important qualities of a group benefit program.  

We can help you to find a plan tailored specially to the needs of your company and your employees. We can work within your budget, help you with prescription drug care maximums based on requirements, and can help you choose dental coverage to suit your employees. Further to that, we can discuss extended health care options, including vision coverage, that will improve your employees' quality of life. 

After implementing a plan, we can help you set your employees up with an easy-to-use mobile app to submit claims, see claims history, and register for direct deposit for claims reimbursement. Your employees can keep up to date on their coverage maximums, plan usage, and other pertinent information without the help of a third party. if they have questions about the mobile app or about their benefit plan, they can call our office directly and we can direct them while maintaining confidentiality standards. 

Similar to the mobile employee app, we can offer online plan administration, which allows you to make changes to and review all of the details of your group plan. Plan administrators can log on to the website to see taxable benefit information, billing statements, and a summary of your employee benefit program. They can also add or delete employees or make changes to a current employee if he/she experiences a life changing event, such as the birth of a new baby or entering a new marriage. 

We'd love to help create a better quality of life for your employees, so call us today for a quote or further information on the types of plans we can offer. 

 

To see the full article, please click here

Wondering about Travel Insurance?

Travel Insurance

Planning a family vacation or a romantic get-away? Carrying travel insurance is one of the most important things to remember when travelling out of the country. 

We know it's easy to forget about, so we've included it in the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan

Your extended health care insurance covers out of province and out of country travel - just have your wallet cards handy and you'll have access to emergency treatment when you're away from home. 

Your travel insurance will cover the cost of emergency treatment not covered by your provincial plan, including hospital rooms, physician charges, and prescription drugs. It also covers the cost of air fair changes, the return of a vehicle, chaperoning minors who must return home alone, and a bedside visit by a family member if the injured person was travelling alone. 

Your wallet cards have a toll free number on the back that provides access to a 24 hour telephone support system. This number will connect you to a helpful professional who can help you to find medical facilities and can even provide translation services in all major languages. 

Check your employee booklet, visit the Chambers Website or call our office to discuss travel coverage before taking off on your next trip! 

The more you know, the safer you will be in the event of an emergency!

Submit Health and Dental Claims on Your Smart Phone

mobile app, itunes, google play

1. Download the mobile app in iTunes or Google Play. 

Chambers of Commerce Group Plan participants can submit most health and dental claims using a smartphone or tablet. Submitting claims electronically is a convenient way to have your claims processed quickly and easily, resulting in faster reimbursement. 

 
register your account

 

2. Enter your username and password. If you have not created an account, please visit the website to register. 

All plan members must first register online through the  www.my-benefits.ca.  You will need your firm and certificate number, which can either be found on your wallet cards or through your plan administrator. 

Once you have registered online, you can download the app and have immediate access to your plan information. 

You can even tell the app to save your ID cards and remember your username for easier sign-in purposes. 

 
Review your claims

3. Review your benefits

Upon sign in is a list of all of the employee benefits provided through your group plan. For a comprehensive explanation of each benefit, follow the purple arrow. This is a quick and easy way to review your coverage before booking health and dental appointments. 

If you have Extended Health and Dental coverage through your group plan, you can check your claims usage, next eligible service dates, remaining coverage, and a summary of previous claims. 

You are also able to access your prescription drug cards and all travel insurance information for out of province/out of country travel. 

 
Review your options

4. See recent claims, update personal banking information, or submit claims using the menu on the left hand side of the screen.

Further explore the details of your benefits by clicking on each of of the options in the menu.

View your recent claims, change your banking information, and submit new claims for faster reimbursement.  

 
Submit Claims

 

5. Submitting claims is easier and faster than ever when using the app

Fill out this form with the correct information and receive your automatic reimbursement much faster than manual claims submission. 

Select the family member who used the plan, the type of service, the date, and the amount charged. Upload a legible picture of your receipt and click submit!

 

If you'd like more information about the mobile app, or care to set up an in-person tutorial to learn the website and/or app, please contact our office. We are happy to walk you through the steps and help you make the most of your plan! 

Taxation of Employer-Paid Health and Dental Benefits

The federal government is considering taxing employer-paid health and dental benefits. In addition to hundreds or thousands of dollars that would be added to Canadians' tax bills, it also means that many employers may no longer provide coverage to employees.  

When a similar tax was introduced in Quebec, 20% of employers dropped health and dental benefits for employees. Although this tax would directly impact employees, studies suggest the removal of this tax benefit across the board could result in a decrease of 50% of small firms who will be able to offer health benefits.

Please tell your MPs that this move would harm the people the federal government promised to champion; the middle class.  

We are still hopeful that the Federal Government will back away from this proposed action but they need to hear from Canadians.  We are working with Chambers to do their part to ensure the Federal Government knows this is not a group insurance issue but a serious business issue.

Health and Dental Care Revisions

The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan is implementing a 12-month pilot project beginning in January, 2017. 

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Currently, the Chambers Plan does not allow employees to claim services and/or treatments provided to them by their employer.

For example, a dental assistant cannot receive treatments from the dentist who he or she works alongside. 

The pilot project will revise this rule to allow employees to claim health or dental services provided to them by their respective employers. 

We hope that this rule allows for ease of access to health care providers and look forward to the positive changes this will bring to our Chambers Plan members. 

Learn more about your Health and Dental Benefits here.

Chambers Plan Holiday Contest

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Have you heard of the Prairie Region Chambers Plan Holiday Contest? It's a quick and easy way to win $1000 towards your charity of choice! 

Follow these steps to enter your company in for a chance to win: 

  1. Visit the "Chamber Plan Prairie Region" Facebook Page 
  2. Post a festive picture of your staff members along with a description of your business and the charity you would like to donate to 
  3. Tell your friends, family, followers, and clients to "like" the post

The company with the most likes at the end of the contest wins the grand prize! 

This is a great way to raise money for those in need this holiday season, so if you have a favourite charity that you'd like to donate to, join the contest by clicking the button below 

 

 

 

Counselling Services for Owners and Employees

Did you know that the Chambers Plan provides counselling services for both business owners and their employees? 

Business Owners have up to 9 combined hours per year of the following services: 

  • Legal Advice - Practical interpretations of company, partnership, taxation and insolvency law. 
  • Accounting Advice - Helps management strengthen and gain control of the company's finances 
  • Human Resources - Solutions to terminations, labour laws, and other human resource issues. 

Employees have up to 3 combined hours per year for counselling services

  • If an employee's personal life is affecting his/her professional performance, company owners can help the employee to deal with the situation by referring him/her to a professionally trained counsellor 

The Business Assistance Service is a free service built in to each Chambers of Commerce Group Benefit Program. You and your employees will incur no out of pocket expense when using these services. 

Please call our office if you'd like more information on these services. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Plans

It is important to ask your dentist to send in a pre-authorization or estimate to the Chambers Plan before you proceed with any unknown or expensive dental work. 

Some dental clinics will make you pay 100% of the cost upfront and some will allow you to pay the difference at the counter. The dentist's office will generally ask you to leave a credit card on file and they will collect payment from The Chambers of Commerce Group Plan. For example, if you have 80% coverage on your plan, they will ask for a 20% deposit after your visit. 

Be sure to show the dentist your wallet card, it has the direct billing information they need to get you and your family set up for electronic claims submission. 

Carefully review your dental claim form before signing it to ensure all of the information is correct. 

Dental Fees and Fee Guides: 

  • Did you ask upfront what the dentist charges for routine procedures so you can compare to other dentists in your area? 
  • Keep in mind that the treatment plan proposed by your dentist and your decision to proceed with the recommended work should not be based on the amount of insurance coverage your have. However, you should know in advance exactly how much your plan will reimburse you and what you will have to pay out of your own pocket. 
  • Ask your dentist how much they charge and how much will be covered by your insurance plan! 

Disability Guide

There are a number of steps an employer must take when an employee becomes disabled, here is a guide to help you through the necessary actions you are required to take when an employee is off work due to a health or injury disability. 

Weekly Indemnity

  • Contact our service centre immediately
  • Weekly indemnity claims need to be completed no later than 90 days after the date of disability

Long Term Disability 

  • Contact our service centre after 60 days of the date of disability
  • LTD claim forms must be completed after 90 days of the disability

What's Next?

  • An assessor might call to discuss the duties of the insured and a possible return to work date
  • Underwriting will send an edited version of the approval or denial letter for your records
  • If the claim is approved, the plan will waive the disability premiums for the first day of the month following six months of disability

Online Banking in 3 Simple Steps

Setting up the Chambers Plan as a payee through your online banking allows quick and efficient payment of your monthly premiums. 

It can be done in 3 simple steps:

  1. You will need to be registered with online banking 
  2. Set up the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan as a payee 
    1. Search for the Chambers of Commerce 
    2. Select "Chambers of Commerce Gr.Insurance 
  3. Enter your account number 
    1. Ch + Five Digit Firm Number 
      1. Example: Ch12345

Online banking will save you time, postage, and the stress of payment deadlines. 


If you are an existing client and need help with online banking, please contact our office and we will be happy to help you. 

 

What is Critical Illness Coverage?

There are often a number of financial stresses associated with surviving a health crisis; loss of wages, travel to and from medical treatments, and home modifications can greatly increase your cost of living as you deal with your illness. 

Critical illness insurance is designed to ease financial pressures by paying a tax-free lump sum if you become seriously ill. The chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan can pay up to $50,000 for employees and/or spouses who receive a diagnoses of a serious condition. This payment can be used however the plan member decides; there are no restrictions placed on how the money is used. 

 

Some of the illnesses covered by the Chambers Critical Illness plan include: 

  • Cancer 
  • Heart attack
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Major Burns
  • Coma 
  • Speech loss
  • Stroke
  • Kidney Failure 
  • Paralysis 

 

To learn more about Critical Illness insurance, please visit the Chambers of Commerce Website: 

Generic vs Brand Name Drugs

If your company has chosen a prescription drug card health option, you must present your card at the pharmacy at the time of purchase and pay your portion of the expense. 

To ensure that your prescription is covered up to the full cost of a brand name drug, your physician must indicate no substitution on your prescription. Otherwise, if you are buying a brand name drug, you may only be paid up to the cost of its generic equivalent. 

If you do not present your Drug Card at the time of purchase, the pharmacy will not be able to tell you how much of your prescription will be covered by your insurance. 

It is imperative that you present your drug card at the time of purchase.

What Kind of Businesses use the Chambers of Commerce Group Plan?

Providing a group plan to your employees has been said to increase job satisfaction and employee retention, however many business owners worry about the cost of providing benefits for their employees. 

So what kind of business has access to an affordable group benefit plan through the Chambers of Commerce? 

Small Businesses

  • For-profit businesses with as few as one employee are eligible for coverage. Small firms with three employees or more are guaranteed coverage

Home-Based Businesses

  • The Chambers Plan provides flexible coverage the fills in any gaps left out by provincial health care coverage. 

Agricultural Businesses 

  • Year round coverage can be provided to those who are farming, or raising fish or livestock. 

The Chambers Plan is easily accessible and affordable to small businesses in Alberta - contact us today for more information or to receive a quote for your business! 

Group Life Insurance for your Edmonton business

Group Life Insurance

Employee Life Insurance – Providing Financial Support for the Unexpected

Included with every Chambers Plan, group life insurance provides financial support to families of employees in the event of their death. Benefits are adjustable to meet your company's unique business needs and lets employees pay their premiums through payroll deductions. Our life insurance benefits include:

  • Coverage up to $300,000
  • Living benefit provisions included in every policy
  • Guaranteed coverage for companies or organizations with three or more employees
     

Dependent Life Insurance – 
Covers Spouses and Dependent Children from All Causes of Death

  • Spousal benefit amounts from $5,000 - $15,000
  • Child benefit amount – 50% of the spousal amount
     

Optional Life Insurance

Employees are able to top up their group coverage with up to $500,000 of Optional Life insurance, letting them build a plan to meet their needs at a cost they can afford.
 

Ready to Learn More?

To find out how life insurance benefits can be tailored for your firm's benefits plan, request a quote. Your Chambers Plan advisor will contact you to discuss your needs and answer any questions.
 

A Life Insurance Policy Provides Your Employees with Peace of Mind

An unexpected loss of life can present a serious financial burden for family at an already difficult and emotional time. Holding a life insurance policy is one of the best ways to ensure that your loved ones will be taken care of financially.

The payout on a life insurance policy can help loved ones cover:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Unpaid bills
  • Medical expenses
  • Childcare
  • Funerary costs

And many other expenses that would otherwise be a financial burden under trying circumstances.

Provide your employees the opportunity to purchase optional life insurance through the Chambers Plan at group rates to meet their individual needs.

Best Doctors – Included in Every Chambers Plan

When you or someone you love is faced with illness or injury, you want to have access to the very best medical expertise available. That's exactly what Best Doctors gives you.

Best Doctors services are proudly provided to every individual covered under the Chambers Plan at no additional cost. Best Doctors provides Plan participants with the support and assistance they need to make informed decisions about their health care when it matters most. 

Please click this link for a short Best Doctors video. 
 

Best Doctors — Helping You Take Control of Your Health Care

Best Doctors recognizes that people with serious illnesses may lack the advice and support necessary to acquire the best medical care.

Best Doctors connects patients and their treating physicians with world renowned specialists to confirm diagnosis and correct treatment plans. This allows you and your physician to choose the most appropriate next steps.

There is no additional cost incurred by the insured, whom can also stay in the comfort of their home. Best of all, a dedicated Member Advocate, a Registered Nurse, remains available for one-on-one support and guidance.
 

Employee Access to Valuable Services

Most business owners agree that efficiency and productivity are improved bygood overall employee morale. Providing great benefits is an ideal way to invest in employee wellness and, in turn, your company's long term success.

Best Doctors could provide a huge benefit for you and your employees and Chambers Plan is proud to offer it as part of every group benefit plan. Best Doctors services include:

InterConsultation – Best Doctors is committed to helping insureds make informed and confident decisions regarding their medical care. InterConsultation provides insureds with an in-depth review of your medical files by Best Doctors' world renowned specialists to confirm the diagnosis and right treatment options—giving you and your doctor valuable insights from top medical experts.

FindBestDoc℠ – This service gives members information on specialists including location, current availability, professional background, and any other details required to arrange a referral.

FindBestCare℠ – If members choose to seek medical care outside Canada, Best Doctors will help them transition smoothly. They'll look for hospital and doctor discounts and will take care of transferring important information to the physicians involved. They'll also provide lodging information when applicable.

Best Doctors 360® – This service helps members take control of their medical care by providing them with a host of resources, individualized support, and current health information.
 

Protect Your Most Important Asset – Your Employees

The Best Doctors program through Chambers Plan is an important benefit to both employers and employees. By investing in employee wellness, you can improve employee turnover and morale.

Request a quote - one of our skilled advisors will contact you to discuss Best Doctors and the other great employee benefits available when you join Chambers Plan.

For more information on Best Doctors, watch this short video.

Chambers of Commerce Group Dental & Health Insurance Enjoyed by 25,000 Canadian Businesses

Group Dental & Health Insurance Enjoyed by 25,000 Canadian Businesses

Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan has been protecting Canadian firms for over 40 years. From Victoria to St. John's, over 25,000 small to medium-sized businesses use the Chambers Plan to protect their employees with comprehensive group benefits including dental and health insurance – making it Canada's #1 employee benefits plan for small business.

Thousands of small business owners join the Chambers Plan each year because it's the simple, stable, smart choice for their business: combining accessibility, flexible options and pooled benefits that add stability to their employee benefits.Firms stay with the Chambers Plan year after year because the Plan combines unsurpassed value with excellent customer service at the national and local levels.

Made For Small Business: Accessibility & Flexibility

Over 25,000 businesses purchase group benefits from the Chambers Plan. Comprehensive benefit packages apply to home-based businesses and small business firms – with no industry restrictions. For-profit businesses with three people and up are eligible for guaranteed coverage.

Flexible group plans are also available for larger firms with up to 35 employees. All plans start with employee life insurance. Your Chambers Plan advisor can help you select the right options for building as comprehensive a plan as you wish to meet your exact needs and fit your budget.